Sabre Airline Solutions Announces Preferred Partner Status with International Air Transport Association; Growing Number of Carriers Worldwide Leveraging Sabre Resources to Meet the Simplifying the Business Initiative

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 13, 2005–Sabre Airline Solutions, the industry leader in airline operations technology, announced today its preferred partner status in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Simplifying the Business initiative. Sabre has supported this initiative since its announcement in 2004, introducing industry-first new generation solutions that include both stand-alone and integrated options for electronic ticketing and other key elements of the IATA program.

The Simplifying the Business Preferred Partner program — part of IATA’s Strategic Partnership Program — is the vehicle through which suppliers and service providers to the air transport industry interact with IATA and its member airlines in the development of industry solutions and their implementation through various industry channels.

“As an industry, we have challenged ourselves to find cost reduction possibilities in our complex processes. To make the most effective use of technology and simplify the business of travel, IATA is working with top-level technology providers like Sabre to move the industry forward,” said Bryan Wilson, Project Director Electronic Ticketing, of IATA. “Sabre has demonstrated great initiative in making this change happen with innovative solutions like its eticketing hub. We consider them an important partner in accomplishing the goals set forth in our Simplifying the Business initiative.”

According to Sabre, there are several implementation stages an airline needs to be cognizant of prior to achieving 100 percent eticketing. Sabre will outline these during upcoming IATA global forums as part of the Simplifying the Business initiative.

These stages include implementing eticketing to the airline and providing the eticketing option to global distribution systems (GDS) to enable travel agency distribution of electronic ticketing. Subsequently, airlines should sign ticketing agreements for interline eticketing with partner airlines, and finally, airlines should ensure that any third-party ground handlers have the ability to service customers with etickets.

For airlines to implement eticketing to their ticketing operations, Sabre provides a number of options through its SabreSonic portfolio for both hosted and non-hosted airlines. More than 40 airlines worldwide have already implemented Sabre’s eticketing solutions.

Sabre Travel Network has assisted travel agencies in implementing eticketing for their customers, resulting in more than 70 percent of tickets issued through Sabre Connected agencies being in an eticket format. In the key markets, the percentage of etickets is over 90 percent.

Interline eticketing Hub

One of the most innovative and cost-effective solutions in Sabre’s ticketing portfolio is its interline eticketing hub, part of SabreSonic Ticket, a state-of-the art eticketing module for airlines that eliminates the need for carriers to build costly systems for electronic ticket distribution and database maintenance. The eticketing hub significantly simplifies the process for enabling eticketing between two or multiple carriers.

Via the eticketing hub, Sabre Airline Solutions has established the various available communication protocols between carriers, so all a carrier has to do to set up eticketing is simply establish a single connection to the SabreSonic eticketing hub. This enables single itinerary eticketing for travel with any number of participating airlines. Currently, there are 27 carriers participating in the SabreSonic eticketing hub, including American Airlines, US Airways, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay, Philippine Airlines, JAL and others worldwide.

“Simplification of airline operations was at the heart of the development and launch of the SabreSonic passenger solution, so this partnership is a natural outgrowth for both organizations,” said Gianni Marostica, president of Airline Passenger Solutions at Sabre Airline Solutions. “By delivering airlines the latest, most advanced offerings to simplify their business across the breadth of airline operations, and by responding to their feedback, we are able to address our customers’ needs — such as preparation for 100 percent eticketing by 2007 — with an agility our competition does not have. Our strategic partnership with IATA further strengthens our ability to measure the pulse of the industry.”

Third-party Ground Handling

Another option that Sabre Airline Solutions has introduced that addresses IATA’s simplification objectives is third-party ground handling. Ground handling eticketing enables a carrier to extend existing capabilities by accommodating outsourcing of ground handling operations. The IATA standard methods support electronic ticketing distribution and provide a high level of security in electronic ticket usage. The solution also facilitates communication between departure control systems and is fully integrated with SabreSonic Ticket.

Air Malta was the first to implement the ground handling option and has already seen benefits.

SabreSonic Check-in Solution

Finally, the SabreSonic Check-in solution is fully integrated with the Sabre eticketing package, ensuring full access and control of eticketing records throughout the departure control process for hosted airlines.

About Sabre Airline Solutions

Sabre Airline Solutions, a Sabre Holdings company, is the world’s largest provider of software products, reservations and departure control systems and other passenger management systems, and consulting services that help airlines simplify operations and lower costs. Sabre Airline Solutions’ proven leadership is demonstrated by the growing number of airlines that leverage the technology and services: More than 200 airlines worldwide use Sabre Airline Solutions’ broad portfolio of smart solutions for decision-support tools to increase revenues and improve operations. More than 100 airlines worldwide rely on Sabre Airline Solutions for passenger management solutions, with eight new carriers choosing SabreSonic, the first new generation reservations system offered in the market, in 2004 and six carrier renewals. In addition, more than 100 clients worldwide have turned to the Sabre Airline Solutions consulting group for strategic, commercial and operational consulting. More than 500 contracts worldwide were signed in 2004 across the breadth of Sabre Airline Solutions’ leading technology solutions.

Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG) is a world leader in travel commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

Sabre Airline Solutions, the Sabre Airline Solutions logo, SabreSonic, Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Connected are trademarks and/or service marks of an affiliate of Sabre Holdings Corp. All other trademarks, service marks and trade names are the property of their respective owners. (C) 2005 Sabre Inc. All rights reserved.

    CONTACT: Sabre Airline Solutions, Southlake
             Kathryn Hayden, 682-605-2252

    SOURCE: Sabre Airline Solutions